There used to be a time when ad blockers were freely available in the Google Play Store, but that time is now long gone as Google has cracked down pretty hard on them. So it’s now virtually impossible to find Android ad blockers for any browser, let alone an ad blocker that works across the Android platform. Even if you do find one or two ad blockers, chances are they’ll quickly be taken down as well. Now Google has a reason for being this way.
Google makes most of their revenue through ads, and even their Android ecosystem is sustained by ads because it’s essentially free to manufacturers to use. YouTube, Gmail, the Google Play Store, even most of the apps you download, are essentially made possible thanks to ads. Blocking the main stream of revenue on their own platform is counter-intuitive, so it’s quite understandable why Google wants no ad blockers on their official platform.
However, as Android is a platform of possibilities, you can potentially get one of the best Android ad blockers from third-party app stores. A fair warning though, downloading apps from third-party sources can be a little bit risky, so if you are adamant on not seeing any kind of ads and are willing to take a small phrase, this article is for you.
Note: I tested the best Android Chrome ad blockers on a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone and in old Asus tablet running Android 4.4. Some apps worked on both devices while others were unable to run on one of them, the consistency of the apps is also questionable.
While some of the ads were easily blocked by the apps, some still made through for some reason. Overall, I recommend that you try out different apps and choose the one that works best for you. A fair warning though, none of the apps are perfect at blocking ads and may or may become obsolete once Google gets the wind of them.
Adblock Plus used to be one of the biggest Android ad blockers on the block until Google decided to crack down on ad blockers. Thankfully, now you can just as easily get an APK file from their website and install it manually on your Android device. I have tested this app and it works well as an Android Chrome Browser ad blocker, as well as for just the Android OS.
Adblock Plus is able to block banners, tracking, pop-ups, and malware. One of the best things about it is that it is free for the users and is open source, which means that talented developers can pitch in and update the app as they please. By default, the app doesn’t block nonintrusive ads from certain websites in order to still support sites while still freeing you from annoying ads. Who knows, maybe that will encourage sites to stop allowing such irritating ads.
Blokada Ad Blocker
If you’re in the market for a free and open source ad blocker for Android, then Blokada Ad Blocker is a great choice. I’ve used it on Firefox on Android and it works perfectly, regardless of what version my Android device is running. I was also impressed that it was able to block ads on a friend’s Google Pixel 2 with the latest version of Android installed as well.
The app is designed professionally and provides all options in a smart manner. Not only will you be able to toggle different options with ease but also learn about them in detailed explanations right on the app. There is also an option of starting the app as soon as you boot up your smartphone.
Seven Ad Clear
Ad Clear is a simple Android Chrome Ad blocker that you just need to install and forget about. While the app works perfectly with Chrome, I did find that YouTube app ads were not being blocked. However, that is a known issue and YouTube ads on Google Chrome were blocked.
There are a few additional steps to be taken if you want the app to work at its full potential. If you are familiar with installing APKs, the additional steps are quick and easy to follow. Once everything is installed, you won’t see ads on apps or browsers. Seven Ad Clear also has one of the best FAQ sections I’ve read in a long while, so if you have the time, do give it a look as well.
Word of Advice
These are a few good Android Ad blockers which will surely work well for your devices. Of course, there is always a chance of Google making the moves to shut them down with future Android updates but these apps have survived 8 versions of it. We’ll try to update this list often to make sure it stays up to date, but please feel free to let us know in the comments if any of these apps are no longer available, or if you have another favorite Android ad blocker!
If you have any questions about the ad blockers or how to use them, feel free to comment below.